Cloud based or not?

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Cloud based or not?

Postby Georgect » Fri Jan 08, 2016 9:08 pm

Hello all. I am George, the new owner of a convenient store and package store. I purchase the store recently and I am now in the process of updating some of the equipment and the very, very old cash register that we now have. It is not a Windows-based system but seems to be some proprietary software. The previous owner has never maintained the database and kept adding and adding and now we have to delete or replace items in the database to make room for new ones. Report generation is a pain in the a$$ and very limited.

I looked at PCAmerica's CRE. Downloaded and tested it as much as I could. I liked the easy of use and it seems to give us what we want. With all the upgrading and changes we are making money is tight. Also, I am not that familiar with computers and don't really want to become an expert just to run and maintain a cash register system. So, I was thinking of going to a cloud-based system. pcAmerica offers this feature. It would save us the expense of needing a server and I do not have to worry about keeping the software up-to-date, pcAmerica is doing that.I think.

I would like to hear what the general though is of going to a cloud-based system or having everything in-house. Thank you for the opportunity to post here.
Georgect
 
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Re: Cloud based or not?

Postby kurtwm » Sat Jan 09, 2016 12:28 pm

Congratulations on your new purchase. I wish the best of luck.

I am sure there are various opinions about having a cloud-based POS. The only benefit I can see with a cloud system is if you have multiple stores that are all interconnected and work of one common database and want to consolidate all activities on one cloud server, inventory, re-order, price change across all stores and so on. Other than that I see no benefit for a single store. Here are some of the cons I see with a cloud POS:

1. Although they tell you it is YOUR database, it really never is. You have no control over it other than what’s in it.
2. You cannot develop your own sql to retrieve specific information that is otherwise not available using printed reporting
3. You are dependent on the Internet, any outage and your POS might be dead in the water, depending on the setup.
4. Updates that the vendor makes might affect the workings of your POS registers and requiring you to upgrade as well. That costs money and time
5. pcAmerica has recently merged with another POS company. I do not expect them to sell two different POS software products, but very likely merge the two products into one. With a cloud based POS you will definitely be required to upgrade your register software, again costing money and time
6. You will be required to pay an annual fee. That is in addition to a maintenance agreement if you sign up for one. This can be costly and depends on the number of registers you have.

This is my take on a cloud based POS. Whatever you decide, make sure you test the functions and features you want before you decide on a product.
kurtwm
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Re: Cloud based or not?

Postby Georgect » Wed Jan 20, 2016 7:54 pm

Kurt, thank your for your opinion.

I am only talking about two operating registers, one stand-by and a server for a single store. You comments make sense.

By the way, I made a post on Merchant Maverick in regards to CRE, but the post never appeared. Probably because I mentioned this forum. Funny, one of their positing rules is "No self-promoting on another vendor’s review", at the same time the owners of that forum do it all the time. Seems they favor negative comments.
Georgect
 
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Re: Cloud based or not?

Postby kurtwm » Sun Jan 24, 2016 9:11 pm

George, why not make the standby register your server and register. You can build the database right on the register and feed the other two registers from this one? Just an idea if money is really tight.

On the other hand, you do not have to spend at a ton of money for your needs. We are using, as a server, an inexpensive Dell Inspiron PC for about $350. Keep in mind, a server is really nothing more than a sophisticated PC with a DB on it that feeds computers connected to it. For two or three registers nothing sophisticated is needed. For us it works great and never had any problems running the software and getting quick responses across the system. Just another idea.

As far as the other website is concerned, they are a commercial website and make money by selling retail related software products and services. pcAmerica has probably not more or less complaints than similar products. With over 50.000 users, there will always be some that are not happy. Mostly because they did not test the software sufficiently enough before they purchased it, purchased hardware and software from different vendors or have hardware that is not 100% compatible. Some users get upset when the help desk does not want to "touch" the incompatible hardware. I called Verizon several weeks ago because my WiFi at home did not work. As soon as you tell them that you are not using Verizon suggested or sold routers they tell you that they can check connectivity up to the router only and would not touch it or help with changing or setting up the router.

Anyways, good luck and keep it simple.
kurtwm
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Re: Cloud based or not?

Postby BigBoxPOS » Fri Jan 29, 2016 12:17 am

For one store I wouldn't go Cloud based POS, unless your going to spend a lot of time away from the store. Cloud based would make it easy to login from anywhere to get all your data. A server isn't bad, but since you are planning a back up system anyway, make that your server and save some cash. pcAmerica has been getting a bad reputation mostly because their technical support is completely overseas. We all know what that can be like. We just launched a U.S based customer support for pcAmerica to fill the void. www.BigBoxPOS.com Aside from that, its a robust piece of software that can do just about anything. We have sold pcAmerica for 15 years so if you have any questions, let me know.
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